Questions I Asked My Grandmother

The boys have been writing to their cousins. I’ve been writing to my grandma. She LOVES history. Local history. Family history. So I write to her to give her updates on our family since she’s not on the Facebook or the Twitter or the Instagram. If she were on Instagram, I’d call it Instagramma. She writes back answering the questions I sent. She also sends loads of additional information that sheds more light on certain questions. So what did I ask her this time?

1. You mentioned that you liked being in school plays. Do you remember on in particular? What role did you play in it?

In one play I dressed like Aunt Jemima. I sang two songs, one of them was “Take me down to Hoecake Land”. The play I remember best was in 7th grade. We were to write plays about Thanksgiving. Mine was chosen to be used. The day before the play, the older student who was to be the main character got strep throat. There was panic until they said I needed to play the main character because I knew the words. So instead of directing, I got the role. It was performed for the PTA November meeting.

2. What were some of your favorite songs as a kid? 

Probably X-mas songs – Silent Night, Jingle Bells, etc… It was years before there were pop stars, unless you call Bing Crosby one.

3. How did Pop Pop propose to you?

In the car just as we got home from a date several days before Xmas. He just showed me the ring and that was it.

4. Did my dad get into trouble as a kid? What did he do?

My memory must be poor. I don’t remember him getting in trouble.

5. How long have you lived on “The Farm” and what changes has it seen over the years?

Came here May 1950. On the third house. 1st one was roomy. 2nd in 1981 was comfortable. 3rd in 1994 after a house fire. Spent lots of hours taking care of chickens, cooked big dinners for Leo (my grandfather) and his helpers. Bigger tractors, larger crops, grain at times and sweet corn, peas, lima beans, field corn, barley, or wheat. Everything costs more and there’s more government regulation.

6. What are some fascinating facts about Tuckahoe and the surrounding area?

I researched land records, put together 300 pages of abstracts. Tuckers were among the first land owners here. Mostly dirt poor farmers lived here. Some had slaves. Sometime I’ll collect research and send it to you. There was a fish hatchery next to us on the river.

7. What was it like living through the Civil Rights Movement?

In the 1950’s a group called the White Citizens League came to the Eastern Shore to recruit members. They opposed integration with parades and fund raisers. New

New members visited friends, relatives, and their neighbors for support. My brother, Edward, came to my brother-in-law’s, George, house when my husband, Leo, and I were there with our young children. When we were asked to support I said no. Yes, the Woods were upset. I said as a Catholic I could not join the group.

Around the same time, my mother told me she was mad with my sister, Clara and her husband for riding in an open car on the streets in Easton supporting the organization. 

The events completely divided the residents of the Shore. Many kept quiet. There were disturbances in Cambridge in the later years. 

The so called White Citizens League left Easton with funds collected never to be heard of again. In the 1960’s, when schools were integrated, Leo and I told our children to treat everyone the same.

8. Do you have any special memories of your grandkids?

With the girls, tea parties. Dress up – had several suitcases full, including Little Red Riding Hood outfit I made from a discarded red evening dress from a friend. Making bread together. 

Number 4 is the funniest to me. Her memory is not poor. She’s as a sharp as a tack. It’s just that my dad, like his son after him, was an angel and caused no trouble. She also sent me papers describing when her house was used as an observation post during WWII to watch for enemy aircraft. Lastly, in case you were wondering what a hoecake is, it’s a southern thing kind of like a pancake, but more like cornbread. Google failed to turn up any results about the song.

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My Least Favorite Season


I love winter. We’re still in the throws of it. The ground is still white. Last week had 3 days of school cancellations due to snow. We’re getting more snow tomorrow afternoon and night. I enjoy making snowmen and igloos and going sledding and pelting the kids with snowballs. I love skiing, though I haven’t done that since my university days a few hundred years ago.

I love Spring, too. The snow finally melts and the grass turns green. Flowers emerge and color our world with something other than white. The trees bud. Birds come back to our feeder and sing their praises. We can put away the cumbersome winter jackets. Baseball season gets underway (my favorite).

I love summer. Hikes through the woods and visits to waterfalls. Beach days and lazy days kayaking up the river. The continuation of baseball season. Jumping on the trampoline. No school. Late nights and bonfires. Running barefoot through the yard. Listening to DW freak out when she hears June Bugs.

I love autumn, too. Warm days and cool nights. Hoodies by the bonfires. The best weather for running. Mother nature wearing her brightest colors. The World Series. Pumpkins and trick-or-treating. Bouquets of newly sharpened pencils.

Do you know which season I hate the most?

Tax season.

Once upon a time we used to get a refund. Not any more. I know the government needs their share to keep the country running and money in the politicians pockets. Do they really need so much? To make matters worse and thanks to the US government, I still have file taxes in the US even though we don’t live there any more. Usually it works to our advantage. We get money in return for letting the US government know how much we made in Canada.

Six years or so ago we opened an RESP (Registered Education Savings Account) for the boys. We put a bit of money into it and government puts a little money into it and over the years it adds up and then when it comes time the boys can withdraw it to use for University.

Turns out the US wants us to pay tax on it because they think it’s a foreign trust fund. The little bit of tax the US would collect off it probably wouldn’t be that big of a deal. However, the forms that need to be completed and filed with IRS will cost us at least $1,000. Every. Single. Year. Here we were being all responsible, planning for our children’s future and instead we get robbed because of taxes. And not even Canadian taxes.

So now we’ll close those accounts, take the penalty for closing them early, pay the bit of back tax on it and then find another way to save for the future.

For now, I’ll get back to enjoying the strong hold Old Man Winter has on Nova Scotia and curl up under a blanket in my pyjamas and watch The Voice with DW.

Sharing Sunday: Week 13

I was in the shower with the 5 year old yesterday. I needed to shave and he was dirty so we joined forces. At the end of it we were standing in ankle deep water from Bang having put the plug in the drain. I started stomping and splashing. He laughed and splashed with me. The curtain was closed so I thought it was safe. But then DW comes busting through the door like she was a one woman SWAT team. Then I heard the smoke detectors blaring. I thought for sure I was going to have to flee a burning house wrapped in a towel. Turns out the bathroom floor somehow got flooded and water was pouring from the smoke detector on the ceiling directly below the new pool room formerly known as the bathroom. The water shorted the detector and set it off. Since all three detectors are wired together they were all blaring. Because they were blaring, the bird was squawking. DW’s blood pressure soared. We have a guy coming to find out why our pool bathroom decided to empty into the floor below.

For now… happy reading!

Rosie Culture
The best thing to be…

Three’s A Herd
Seeing our days in theirs and learning to love ourselves

Snoozing on the Sofa
Skunks, Kids, War, and Daylight Savings Time

Making Time for Me
A guest writes about being a teen in this day and age

A Opinionated Man
A Beauty, a Beast and another reason why some people suck

And in case you missed it last week, we took a short 3 day vacation to do some visiting and touring. You can catch the highlight video of friends, family, a science museum and animal rescue facility here.

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10 Questions I Asked My kids

I created the first two questions.

The rest were all Crash and Bang. I asked them, “What questions do you want me to ask?” This is what they came up with. Be prepared to be entertained…

1. Instead of building a snow”man” lets build a snow______.

Crash: Castle

Bang:
Fort

2. Did you have any dreams?

Crash: I don’t remember

Bang:
A secret one

3. Why does coal get red?

Crash: Because it warms up

Bang:
Because it gets very very hot when it burns

4. Who is your favorite Pokemon?

Crash: Eevee

Bang:
Pikachu. He’s cute.


5. How long is a giraffe’s neck?

Crash: 17 feet

Bang:
50 inches I think

6. Why is thunder loud?

Crash: It explodes

Bang:
Air moves very very fast that it makes a noise

7. How many pounds can you lift?

Crash: 80 I think. I can lift my friend so over 100.

Bang:
Over 33 thousand

8. What does tax mean?

Crash: Where you pay extra to the government. For every dollar you spend you have to pay an extra 15 cents.

Bang:
Giving mom and dad part of our treat

9. What animal can you run as fast as?

Crash: Giraffe

Bang:
Cheetah

10. What do you get to eat in jail?

Crash: Hungryman (for our jail, he’s right)

Bang:
You get to eat bread

42

A city girl from Pennsylvania.

A farm boy from Maryland. 

They met in college at the boy’s birthday party. The rest, as they say, is history.

The girl’s mother asked the boy, “Why do you want to marry my daughter?”
“Why not?” the boy responds.

I laughed when I heard this story. I used to think it was smartass remark. But thinking on it, perhaps he had no reasons why not to marry her. Perhaps, he knew all the reason why. 

But knowing him, it was probably as much a smartass response as it was romantic.

Through the years they’ve had their ups. They’ve had their downs. Perhaps even a few side ways. They’ve lived in at least four different states. Twice as many houses. They brought two strikingly handsome, brilliantly intellegent, incredibly strong yet gentle, loving boys into the world. They couldn’t have done that if they weren’t all that themselves. 

It takes something special to make it 42 years. A great sense of humor, for instance. Like when your husband sneaks up on you while you’re blow drying your hair in the bathroom and bangs on a pot with a wooden spoon. If you don’t laugh, you might kill him. It also takes wisdom. Like knowing you can only get away with said scare only once. It takes great patience. Whether one of you is working vast amounts of overtime or it’s time to move house again or finances are a struggle or your kid just broke another window, patience will see you through. Supporting each other when the going gets tough and laughing together when going gets easy will help any marriage survive the test of time. 

I try to follow their example in both marriage and parenting. Patience. Humor. Love. With a little luck we’ll last 42 years, too.

Happy Anniversary Mom and Dad!

Sunday Share: The Monday Edition

So I didn’t do a Sunday Share yesterday. I did laundry instead.

Today is the first day of spring! We celebrated by shovelling 8 inches of snow out of the driveway. The wet and heavy kind.

Our road trip went well. We accomplished the three things we set out to do – Discovery Centre, visit the boys cousins, and Hope for Wildlife. The Discovery Centre was overcrowded as was March Break and every kid in Nova Scotia was out of school. Visiting DW’s brother and sister-in-law was great. Hope for Wildlife was as uncrowded as the Discovery Centre was crowded. We are planning a trip back this summer when the weather is warmer. I made a vlog style video documenting the trip. I’m currently working on uploading it, but it’s moving as slow as a toddler up the stairs. It’s uploaded! Please check it out. It’s lots of fun!

Happy Reading!

Dad and That
Men and breastfeeding…

Fatty McCupcakes
Too incompetent for a dog?

A Momma’s View
On Choosing your words…

Four Princesses and the Cheese
When your life is in the potty…

Making Time For Me
A teen making memories…

driveway

My driveway this morning…

 

Go Ask Your Father: Universe, Rubberband Balls, Owls, and the Inevitable Travel Question

This is our last sleepover for this trip. Tomorrow we’ll attempt Hope for Wildlife and then make trails for home. The boys are excited to see in real life what they’ve been seeing on TV. There are the animals which they love and the rescuers/vets they’ve met through the show. I’m kind of excited, too. DW’s brother say they have a talking crow. We call him Russel or Sheryl. You know… famous Crows.

1. How big is the Universe?

Freakin’ huge. I can’t even begin to fathom the size. It’s measured in distances that light can travel in years. In one second it can travel 186,000 miles. With every tick of the tick tock clock light can travel around the Earth 7 times. So you can imagine the distance it goes in just one year is pretty far. The known universe is estimated to be 13.8 billion years old. This is 3 times older than Earth. When the light left the stars of the farthest galaxies Earth didn’t even exist yet. However, while looking at light that 13.8 billion years old, the universe has moved to 46 billion light years away. This puts the known universe somewhere around 92 billion light years in diameter. Or about the same as Trump’s Ego.

2. How are rubber band balls made?

These are easy. If you happen to have enough rubber bands on hand and an equal amount of time, you can make these fun things on your own. Start with one and simply twist and fold it into a tiny ball. Continue doing this with other bands, wrapping them around your starter. Eventually, you’ll have a ball of rubber bands. The largest one made weighs 9,032 pounds and is 6 feet 7 inches tall. About the same size my Ego.

3. What’s a screech owl?

There are Eastern and Western screech owls and they are very similar. They average the same small size, 6 inches in height or 9 inches  and 4-8 ounces in weight. Adult plumage is a combination of brown, black, and white. Nesting screeches are grey and fuzzy. It’s their voice that sets them apart. If you hear it you would compare it to a kid screaming. Just looking it up. It’s haunting.

Listen to a screech owl

4. How much farther?

If you’re lucky you won’t hear this question get asked before you even leave the driveway. You hope to never hear it during a three hour trip. But, without a doubt, it will be asked. Even if you’re only driving 10 minutes down the road. We’ve made a few side trips since getting here and without a doubt the youngest always wants to know where we’re going and how long it’s going to take to get there. I do my best to give them my best estimate. But sometimes I tell them, “The Promised Land and we’ll be there in 40 days and 40 nights.”

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10 Questions I Ask My Kids: Travel Edition

We are now at DW’s brother’s and sister-in-law’s house for a visit with them and their four kidlets. They’ve taken us and our crazies in for a couple nights. It’s always great visiting with them and getting caught up. The cousins love seeing and playing with each other, too. 

The Discovery Center was good, though it wasn’t great because of the number of people and the number of people who’s kids were inconsiderate and the parents were either nowhere to found or had their noses glued to their cell phone. So it didn’t leave much time for learning. However, I did learn about my patience in a public setting. Turns out it’s pretty good. On the plus side, though, the boys got to see a liquid nitrogen demonstration.

1. What has been your favorite part of the trip so far?

Crash: Discovery Center
Bang: Sleeping and dream about my favorite dreams

2. What was your favorite part of the Discovery Center?

Crash: The Sky Dome and the curcuits
Bang: Inside the Sky Dome

3. What is one thing you learned about at the Discovery Center?

Crash: About constellation and planets and stars
Bang: That the bottle was -200 degrees (Liquid Nitrogen)

4. What’s your favorite part of visiting Aunt Mag and Uncle Kevin’s house?

Crash: Playing sports on XBox Kinect
Bang: Getting a sleepover

5. What animal do you wish you could be?

Crash: A dog
Bang: A giraffe

6. Why do you want to be that animal?

Crash: Because you can train them to do stuff
Bang: Because I want a tongue that is 21 cm

7. If you were a Minecraft mob, which would you be?

Crash: Either the Wither or the Ender Dragon
Bang: Enderman

8. How old do you think you’ll be when you get married?

Crash: 22
Bang: 16

9. Where do you want to live when you grow up?

Crash: Here – where we live now
Bang: Aunt and Uncle’s house (Kev and Mag)

10. What color do you want to dye your hair?

Crash: Blue
Bang: Blue

Field Trip

 We’re going to spend 3 hours in the truck tomorrow with 2 oragutans. Wish them luck. We’re headed to the city for a few days. Part 1 will be a stay in a hotel. A free stay! DW discovered our room last time hadn’t been cleaned properly – hair on the bathroom floor. They gave us a complimentary stay. During this part we’ll also try to visit the science museum – The Discovery Center. 

However, a friend of ours went yesterday and reported that they had to wait a half hour to get in and then weren’t able to do much once inside because it was so busy. It is March Break and every kid in Nova Scotia is out of school this week. We’ll test our luck as we love science and know the boys would love this place. 

During the second part of the trip we will be visiting DW’s brother and sister-in-law and their four kids. The boys LOVE playing with their cousins. 

The third and final part will be a visit to Hope for Wildlife. This is a wildlife rehab center. There is a show on TV of the same name and center. The boys will be excited to see first hand what they’ve seen on TV. They will be just as excited to meet the Vets, too. Perhaps I’ll drop off a couple orangutans if they misbehave.

I’ll have my GoPro when I can and hope to record what I can. That’s more of a heads up to DW than to all y’all.